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Telcos in trouble over call masking

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NCC Building

Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) may suspend the operational licenses of six companies implicated for their alleged involvement in call masking- a technique used to allow SMS to be sent or calls to be made to people without revealing the identity of the sender or caller.

The six companies had been issued queries by the commission on January 12 for their failure to desist from call masking.

The companies are: Interconnect Clearing House Nigeria Ltd, Medallion Communications Ltd, Niconnx Communications Ltd, Breeze Micro Ltd, Solid Interconnectivity and Exchange Telecommunications Ltd

Criminals, especially kidnappers, are using it to perpetrate their nefarious trade, though some eCommerce companies also use it to advertise.

The companies were queried following the outcome of investigation by NCC to unmask those companies using call masking techniques to pass off incoming international telecoms traffic as local calls into Nigeria.

In a notice of suspension of licence letters jointly signed by, Yetunde Akinloye and Efosa Idehen, NCC’s Head of Legal and Regulatory Service and Head of Compliance Monitoring and Enforcement respectively, NCC said it had established direct and indirect evidence against the six companies “in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”.

One of the letters read in part “Having carefully analysed all the relevant data collected in the course of its investigation activities, the Commission has established a direct and indirect evidence against your company in the illegal and unwholesome activity of call masking and refiling”.

“Consequently, the commission, pursuant to Section 45 (1) and (3) of the Nigerian Communications Act, 2003 hereby gives you Notice of its Intention to suspend the Interconnect Exchange License granted to your company due to your involvement in call masking and refiling and your failure to rectify the breach, despite repeated interventions by the Commission”.



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